THE BEST OF BURGERAMA: By Derek Schlau find him on twitter @D_schlau, A Michigan State University Senior studying Media and Communication Technology
The majority of college students live for the weekends. Football games, tailgates, parties and much needed time to catch up on school work and the ever evasive sleep. Although the weekend is traditionally begins on Friday afternoons, the most intelligent Michigan State University students have axed the Friday classes for an early start. For those fortunate Spartans, Thursday is THE day of relief and relaxation. And what better way to kick back than by drinking beer and playing games. The Riv is the best place to indulge in these activities because it is located in the heart of downtown East Lansing and offers unbeatable food and beverage specials, especially at their most famous Thursday event, Burgerama.
Being conveniently located right on the corner of Albert and M.A.C, The Riv naturally attracts a lot of customers.Although nearly all patrons are students, The Riv is a bar “welcome and accommodating to anyone wearing a business suit or sweatpants,” General Manager Ryan Kosecki said. Just make sure you’re of age if you plan on visiting. Personally, I had my “alter ego” taken from me when I foolishly tried to enter a few years back.
Flat screen televisions line every wall and the wait staff is well trained, professional and efficient which creates the perfect sports bar atmosphere. Jake Sloan, a Material Science Engineering Senior at MSU said, “The Riv is great for watching the Tigers and the Red Wings. It’s also the only place where you can bring a deck of cards, hangout and drink.”
If you are not a sports fan, The Riv provides a top notch social environment filled with pool tables, dart boards, foosball, and a one-of-a-kind life-size Jenga. The Jenga pieces are made from 4x4 wooden posts, cut to about two feet long and when stacked, stand approximately three feet tall. When the wrong piece is pulled, it collapses to the floor in a thunderous roar, quieting a rowdy crowd instantly, until laughter strikes throughout and trumps the brief silence.
The Riv offers daily specials, but the rowdiest bunch show up Thursday for Burgerama. As previously mentioned, Burgerama notoriously starts the weekend off strong with cheap drinks and a live DJ provides endless fun. Attendees enjoy all the Riv has to offer with pitchers of beer in hand.
Yes, you read correctly, pitchers, not pints, litter the bar’s tables. From 3pm – 9pm pitchers of Keystone sell for only $3.00, Labbatt for $3.50 and Frog Tanks for just $2.50. The official Frog Tank recipe is unknown, but it is confirmed to be a bluish, green concoction that will make you forget about all your worries and throw your inhibitions out the window.
The best deal of Burgerama, appropriately, is the $1.50 hamburgers with 25 cent toppings alongside a healthy handful of fries for an additional $1.00. The tasty burgers do not fill you up and drag you down. Rather, the sizable amount leaves you satisfied with plenty of room for another pitcher. This special lasts for an amazing six hours, but arriving late calls for standing in long entry lines, so make sure to be punctual and thirsty.
Little known to many Spartans, Burgerama originally sold their pitchers for an astonishing $2.00 and burgers for just a dollar. The Riv’s current General Manager, Ryan Kosecki, explained that the tradition was created by one of the past GMs who envisioned the ultimate happy hour experience. Kosecki went on to say that Burgerama gained popularity in the early 2000’s. My guess is Spartan Nation needed somewhere to support their National Champion basketball team and a place where they could drink solely to get drunk.
From there, the rest is history. Cheap beer and burgers will never grow old especially when combined with a social atmosphere. Burgerama at The Riv stands alone as the best Thursday deal and may even be considered the best special in all of East Lansing on any given weekday.